Repairing Nothbridge Fan
On my IC7-MAX3 motherboard during the installation of my Zalman CPNS7000 cooler the stock Abit Northbridge fan started to play up. You all know the noise... buzzing, vibrating and generally being a pain in the ass!

I spent 125 on buying this (at the time) top of the line board and i don't want to find a basic cheap Chinese sleeve bearing fan on it. Come on Abit you should spec something decent cooler here, at least have a ball-bearing fan!

Ok, what causes the noise?

Cheap sleeve bearing fans use a steel spindle running in a bronze bushing, over time the grease applied to the spindle will dry up and eventually get contaminated with dust. The net effect of this is the grease becomes almost sticky, with the small amount of play in the shaft will make the fan assembly wobble creating the slow speeds and noise. In larger fans of this nature there is often a tensioning spring to push the fan assembly away from the fan housing, this reduces the changes of wobble but this over time this weakens also.

Why should i bother fixing a fan like this?

I'm sure many of you are asking this. The answer is simple, it can be hard finding a replacement HSF that fits and provides the same cooling capacity and at the right noise levels.

Ok, so how do i fix it?

To fix all you have to do is remove the fan assembly, clean the bearings and reassemble:

Get the fan off the heat sink and remove the sticker off the back, this will reveal the shaft and a small plastic c-clip

Remove the c-clip with some small watchmakers screwdrivers, sewing pins can also work very well.

Once the fan blade assembly is off remove the small rubber/plastic washers from the spindle and remove all the old grease from both the washers, spindle and the bushing

Then simply apply some very light silicone lubricant to the washers and spindle and put it all back together the way it came apart. Then reinstall back into your PC!

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